De Jong: government policy on family reunification shameful for Christian Democrats

16 February 2012

De Jong: government policy on family reunification shameful for Christian Democrats

To have a family life, even if one’s partner lives in another country, is a human right. The European Union must defend this right in the face of the policies of Dutch Christian Democrat Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers’ policy on family reunification, said SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong during this morning’s debate on the issue in the European Parliament. ‘Leers is a Christian Democrat,’ said De Jong, ‘and they have always seen the family as the cornerstone of society. So it’s incomprehensible that he of all people should be responsible for despair amongst loved ones who want to live with each other in the Netherlands. In my view it’s completely un-Christian.’

Dennis de Jong “European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström would do better to devote her energies to reprimanding a minister who is a disgrace to the Christian democrats and in safeguarding the ‘community of values’ which the EU claims to be than spending them on her Green Paper, which gives the impression of being open to the idea of tightening up family reunification policy,” De Jong added. During the debate he drew attention to the plight in which homosexual couples can find themselves. The practice at present is that these couples were opting, he said, for the so-called ‘Europe route’ and achieving family reunion via another member state, because the Netherlands has the most hard-hearted policy in the entire European Union.

Following this debate in the European Parliament it’s clear that Leers’ plans can expect little support from that quarter. It’s already apparent that there is scant enthusiasm for these proposals amongst the other member states. The European Commission has also distanced itself from the kind of harsher admissions policy sought by the Dutch Immigration and Asylum Minister. “All in all it’s clear that Leers’ proposals haven’t a shadow of a chance,” says De Jong. “So carrying on with this like a sort of Don Quixote is no more than symbolic politics.”

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